Droopy Blooms?

Lauer354947(z7 MD)April 4, 2004

I am not a really knowledgeable gardner and my Hellebores came from a cheap mail order catalog but I was wondering if droopy blooms are normal? This is the first year thay have bloomed and I am really disappointed because instead of the open, single rose looking blooms I see in pictures, mine are bell shaped and facing downward. It has been cloudy and raining constantly since the blooms came on, so they have gotten no sun - could this be the problem? Also, does anyone know where I could see pictures of the actual plants growing in a garden and not just closeups of the blooms? Thanks so much for your help.

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Some plants just have that form. Others, and this is probably a minority, have outward facing flowers. I suggest looking for plants in flower at a nursery in order for you to find what you like. Also, planting them on a slope where they can been seen from below is a good way to display hellebores in a garden setting.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 2:59PM
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Greenmanplants(UDSA Zone 8)

Most Hellebores hybridus have that type of droop on the flowers, the plant breeders have been busy trying to change that and get outward facing flowers, the way to do this is to shorten the pedicel, that is the stalk of the single flower above the last bract of leaves, if this is longer than 1/2" you'll get the droopy flowers, if less then they'll be outward facing. Like I say the breeders are working on this and my guess would be that they keep all the best ones to themselves for further breeding. A lot of the stock in the plant centres is non specific and will have droopy flowers. Like Carol says, wait to see them in flower before you buy, or plant them up a slope. They're still pretty good even droopy.

There are a bunch of hybrids mentioned here and elsewhere that come from H. niger, a species hellebore with outward facing flowers, but is a bit difficult to grow in the garden. Cross this with other species(H. argutifolius used to be known as H corsicus because it came from Corsica) and you have H. x 'Nigercors', a brilliant garden plant with 40-80 white outward facing blooms that last from February to May and will take full sun.

Look out for those, there are separate chains on them in this forum if you have a browse.

Cheers Greenmanplants

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 6:20PM
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Droopy blooms is known as nodding. The nodding protects the interior of the flower from snow and rain. A hellebore with a nod can be very attractive. The erect stems emerging and leafing out holding an upright bud. The bud held upright with new foliage I find very attractive and as the flower opens the flower turns downward and nods. In viewing a large established hellebore these nodding flowers on erect stems add to the architecture of the hellebore. Erect stems with foliage held high and nodding flowers gives the hellebore a very erect but horizontal look. The exterior of the flower can be very attractive and as a friend once pointed out, they invite a interaction with the gardener, like shaking a hand. You approach a hellebore and marvel their look. They invite you too gently touch the nodding flower and to view the interior to see what may surprise the viewer with speckles or veining.

Outfacing flowers are different, we older folks enjoy them greatly, one does not have to bend to view the interior or touch the plant.

I enjoy both types of flowers.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2004 at 6:50AM
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Also, as your plant matures, the mass of blooms it will likely produce adds to its beauty. I have a mature specimen that has about 100 blooms. They nod, but are still a lovely sight in the early spring garden.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2004 at 9:52PM
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Hellebore photoes are deceptive since most of the commonly sold hybrids are hanging bells not upward or outward facing.
I notice one of mine has lifted its flowers as they mature.
Float a few blooms in a bowl of water to get the effect you like.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 5:31AM
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